Vecuronium Quick Reference: (vec-you-roam-eum) A skeletal-muscle relaxant. Norcuron.

Advanced Reference: A non-depolarising muscle relaxant administered by injection under general anaesthesia (GA) during surgery. Has a duration of action of 20-30 minutes and little effect on the cardiovascular system. Does not produce histamine. Secreted in the bile but only to a minor degree through the kidneys so is suitable in cases of renal failure.

Veins Quick Reference: Blood vessels carrying deoxygenated blood. Many of which contain one-way valves.

Advanced Reference: A thin-walled vessel which carries blood from the capillaries back to the heart.

Velosef Quick Reference: Proprietary antibiotic.

Advanced Reference: One of the cephalosporin group of antibiotics (cephradine) available as syrup, tablets or the more common in relation to theatres, powder for reconstitution.

Vena cavae Quick Reference: The two largest veins in the body.

Advanced Reference: Comprises (i) the superior vena cava (SVC) into which blood drains from the head, neck, arms and chest and (ii) the inferior vena cava (IVC) which receives blood from the legs and abdomen. Both empty into the right atrium of the heart.

Venepuncture Quick Reference: Transcutaneous puncture of a vein.

Advanced Reference: Correct term for cannulation, setting up an IV, etc.

Venereal Quick Reference: Pertaining to a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Advanced Reference: A disease transmitted by sexual activity.

Venflon Quick Reference: Type of IV cannula.

Advanced Reference: A name that has almost become a term synonymous with cannula although actually a brand name. Available in a full range of sizes with an injection port.

Ventilator Quick Reference: An artificial-breathing machine. ry Advanced Reference: A piece of equipment used in hospitals to inflate

< the lungs by positive pressure. ice g Ventolin Quick Reference: A bronchodilator to aid breathing.

^ Advanced Reference: Used in patients with asthma and other breathing en problems and appears in many forms, the most popular being aerosol

a Ventral Quick Reference: Refers to the lower surface of the body.

Advanced Reference: Relating to or situated at or close to the front of the body or anterior part of an organ.

Ventricle Quick Reference: A small pouch or cavity.


Advanced Reference: A small cavity, e.g. the ventricles of the heart or in the brain.

Ventro- Quick Reference: Prefix indicates, in front of.

Advanced Reference: A ventro-fixation involves stitching a retroverted uterus or other abdominal organ to the abdominal wall and a ventro-suspension is performed to correct displacement of the uterus.

Venturi mask Quick Reference: Oxygen-delivery system.

Advanced Reference: Type of oxygen mask that utilises the Venturi principle. The concentration of oxygen can be varied from 24% to 50% utilising a selection of detachable injectors which along with set delivery rates provides a fixed percentage.

Venturi (principle) Quick Reference: Physics of principle involving pressure and flow.

Advanced Reference: The Venturi principle relates to the Bernoulli effect involving the effect on pressure by flow through a constriction, in that the inclusion of a side-arm to a pipe or tubing, will involve the entrain-ment of fluid or gas causing a mixing of the two. This principle is utilised in the Venturi or Mix-O-Mask oxygen-delivery system which allows for precise percentage oxygen settings.

Venule Quick Reference: A small venous branch.

Advanced Reference: Venuoles are very small vessels that collect blood from capillaries.

Verapamil Quick Reference: A calcium-antagonist anti-arrhythmic drug.

Advanced Reference: Used to treat high BP, angina and arrhythmias. Available as Cordilox.

Veriform Quick Reference: Worm-shaped structure.

Advanced Reference: Pertaining to the worm-shaped structure attached to the appendix.

Vertebrae Quick Reference: Segment of the backbone.

Advanced Reference: There are 33 vertebrae of which the upper 24 are separate bones, the next 5 are fused to form the sacrum and the lowest 7 4 form the coccyx. a

Vertex Quick Reference: The crown of the head. g

Advanced Reference: Position of the foetus when the crown of the head i appears in the vagina first. ^

Vesico-vaginal fistula Quick Reference: (ves-i-co) Pertaining to bladder and &

vagina. Q

Advanced Reference: An abnormal passage between the bladder and the .j=

Vestibule Quick Reference: An entrance, space. Going into.


Advanced Reference: The oral vestibule is the area of the mouth between the teeth and cheeks, i.e. entrance to the oral cavity.

Viable Quick Reference: Capable of independent life.

Advanced Reference: The term applied to a foetus capable of living outside the womb after the 28th week of pregnancy.

Villi Quick Reference: Small finger-like projections.

Advanced Reference: A small protrusion from the surface of a mucous membrane, e.g. the small intestine.

Virulence Quick Reference: The power of a bacteria or virus to cause disease. Advanced Reference: Can be measured by how many people the microorganism infects and how quickly it spreads through the body.

Virus Quick Reference: The smallest microbe that cannot be seen under a microscope.

Advanced Reference: A microbe that lives inside a host cell and uses the host to multiply. Viruses cause many diseases and are resistant to antibiotics.

Viscera Quick Reference: (vis-sera) Organs within the body cavities.

Advanced Reference: Usually applies to the large internal organs, e.g. lungs, liver and intestines.

Vitreous humour Quick Reference: Transparent fluid that fills the eye.

Advanced Reference: It is in fact jelly like and fills the posterior chamber of the eye between the retina and the lens.

Vitro (in) Quick Reference: Means literally 'in glass'.

Advanced Reference: Term applied to artificial insemination, i.e. testtube baby, fertilisation in the laboratory, etc., whereas vivo (in) indicates within the living animal.

Vocal cords Quick Reference: Two folds of mucous membrane that lie in the larynx.

Advanced Reference: They can be relaxed or be made tense by the muscles of the larynx. When air is forced through, they vibrate and produce the voice.

Volatile Quick Reference: Substance that has a tendency to evaporate easily. Advanced Reference: Term applied to various anaesthetic-inhalation agents, such as halothane, enflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane, etc., all delivered to the patient via a vaporiser. To some extent all are modern-day ethers, although not in a chemistry sense, that have been improved in terms of hepatoxicity, cardiovascular effects, uptake and elimination from the body condition specific, etc.

Voltarol Quick Reference: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), e.g. diclofenac sodium.


Advanced Reference: A non-narcotic analgesic used to treat pain and inflammation. May be administered orally, by tablet or suppositories. Has a number of side effects including nausea, gastrointestinal disturbance and can produce rash and asthma symptoms.

Volvulus Quick Reference: (vol-view-lus) Condition in which a loop of bowel twists around itself.

Advanced Reference: This twisting can lead to intestinal obstruction and cutting off of the blood supply.

Vomiting Quick Reference: A reflex protective reaction of stomach contents.

Advanced Reference: The expulsion of stomach contents via the oesophagus and the mouth.

Von Recklinghausen's Quick Reference: (disease) Hereditary disorder with fibrous swellings of nerves.

Advanced Reference: Referred to as neurofibromatosis. Patients with this condition may have these growths in their airway and can cause stridor or upper airway sounds.

Von Willebrand's disease Quick Reference: Inherited coagulation disorder.

Advanced Reference: Involves the deficiency of a protein involved in platelet adhesion and carriage of factor VIII.

Vulva Quick Reference: The external female genitalia.

Advanced Reference: Includes the mons pubis, the labia majora and minora, external urethral orifice and clitoris.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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